Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Phillips v. AWH Corporation, et al.

Posted in Opinion Commentary by Jake Ward on June 8, 2006

The specification necessarily informs the proper construction of the claims.

(Fed. Cir. 2005, 03-1269)

The CAFC vacated an earlier judgement by a panel of the court, and granted a rehearing en banc.  Phillips had invented modular, steel-shell panels that may be welded to form vandalism-resistant walls.  Claim 1 of the Phillips patent recites “further means disposed inside the shell for increasing its load bearing capacity comprising internal steel baffles extending inwardly from the steel shell walls.” 

Phillips alleged trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement. The infringement issue revolved around the meaning of the term “baffles.”  In particular, the district court had previously ruled that the “baffles,” as construed in light of the specification, must extend inward at an oblique or acute angle to the wall face.  Under this construction, Phillips could not prove infringement.

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Comment on Opinion Commentary

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on June 8, 2006

This blog is meant to, among other things, provide commentary on IP-related cases, old and new.  In contrast, there are many other patent blogs that focus almost exclusively on recent opinions.  I intend to post commentary on opinions that interest me as a practitioner, regardless of whether they issued today or 40 years ago.

Thus, I hope you enjoy the following post regarding Phillips v. AWH Corporation ,et al. . . . a semi-recent opinion (2005), and one that is very relevant to today's practice.